Talking of Robots.

In my last post I mentioned the Microsoft Robotics club, you may have seen the “tour” of the club on MSDN Channel 9 some time ago – so I was wondering how many people that read this blog are doing anything with robotics, what type of processor (8/16/32) you are using, and what (if any) O/S you are using in the robot…

And, while talking about robots, British scientists are developing a robot that will generate its own power by eating flies.

The idea is to produce electricity by catching flies and digesting them in special fuel cells that will break down sugar in the insects’ skeletons and release electrons that will drive an electric current. the robot is part of a drive to make “release and forget” robots that can be sent into dangerous or inhospitable areas to carry our remote industrial or military monitoring of, say, temperature or toxic gas concentrations,”. Read about it at

– Mike

Comments (5)

  1. Jeff Parker says:

    Well I have been following your robotic, posts, and love them, actually you really intrigued me a lot, but what I really need is a good starting point. If you want to do this as a hobby where do you start? where can you get some subblies, and board servos and so on.

    Now yes thanks to your post inspiring me to go out and research some but I keep banging into a lot of road blocks. Any Real clear directions you got to get going would be terrific.

  2. Mike says:

    Good question – I think it would be interesting to build a robot based on Windows CE or Windows XP Embedded and document the steps – I will bring this up at the next Microsoft Robotics meeting (next week).

    – Mike

  3. Jeff Parker says:

    Great, looking forward to any direction you can point me in, this is exactly what I was thinking or hoping for as well with CE or XP Embeded should be easy enough to program against.

    These are the road blocks I keep running into, I am trying to do a lot of research before I go out and spend a lot of cash for parts only to find out I got the wrong parts. I have wrote a lot of code in my time but never anything to try to control servos or or electric muscle or interact between hardware without using windows API’s. I have several remote control devices from Choppers to race cars, built all from scratch however, the servos were basically soldering wires to a main receiver. The communication between boards was something I never had to do or worry about. Or even links to good sites that explain this or book references would help. Google is good but I do not know exactly what I am looking for I guess, the Mike Hall Blog keeps coming up. 😉 Well and since your the one that really peaked my interest.

  4. Mike says:

    I think this would make for a really interesting project – documenting the steps online for others to follow along with – I’m also going to work on some articles that show how to port Windows CE to new hardware from the ground up, should also be interesting.

    – Mike